When it comes to any type of small business, reviews are one of the most impactful ways of showing the quality of your services/product. It builds trust for a potential customer that they will receive high quality, and it is a quick and easy way for them to spot any potential pain points.
Not to mention that when someone is given multiple competing services, reviews are often the dealbreaker. So how should a small business owner manage and handle the reviews? How do you get more reviews, and what should you do if you get a particularly nasty review that puts down your business? For the answers to these questions, read on.
1. Encouraging More Reviews
Receiving more reviews about your business is vital for the growth of a business. Multiple reviews, especially with a long track record of excellent service can be a great way to draw in customers. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool, and that is ultimately what these reviews are. But instead of hearing from just a couple of people, reviews stretch it into the hundreds, if not thousands. So more reviews do help, but how do you get more?
To start, the first thing you need to know is Googles’ policy on reviews. To see the full policy, you can find the link to their help center article here, but the general understanding is that Google takes a very broad approach to reviews. If the review is about the business, it will stay up 99.99% of the time. One of the clear exceptions is if it looks like a user was paid to leave a review.
So as a business owner, how do you get more customers to leave reviews? While it is against the policy to pay people to leave reviews, it is not against any policies to share a link to reviews and ask customers to share feedback.
You can do this by going to where the reviews are shared, if you are the manager of the business have it claimed in a Google My Business account (If you do not have one created, read this article for more information on Google My Business.).
Click on where it says “Google Reviews”
And then click the blue button “Get More Reviews”
There you will see a link you can copy and paste directly and it’ll give you the option to share it via other services.
By sharing this information, you make it very easy for customers to leave reviews. The better your service/products are, the higher likelihood customers will leave reviews for your business.
2. Managing Negative Reviews
Perhaps the most frustrating part of dealing with online reviews is managing the negative ones. As mentioned earlier in this blog, if the review is about the business, the odds of Google removing the bad review is almost next to nothing. So what should you do if you get a bad review? Bad reviews have a chance to turn away potential customers and you want to minimize that as much as possible.
But first, understand a few things. One bad review will not harm your business. People are imperfect, they disagree on a lot of things. When only 9 out of 10 dentists will agree on what toothpaste to use, it is not surprising that bad reviews can pop up. So is the solution to just ignore them? Nope, the solution is to respond to them. Through Google My Business, you can reply to any review left on your business.
What should you say to them? This is up to you, but I would recommend apologizing for the bad experience and offer for them to reach back out for you to try to fix the issue, or offer something along those lines. While this may not impact that review, what it does, is share your response to any future potential customer who is reading the reviews to try to better understand your business. Replying to bad reviews and showing a willingness to resolve issues can make a potential customer feel a lot more comfortable that you can address their needs as well. Seeing a company take customer feedback very seriously can often result in a net gain even with the negative review left on there.
In closing, it is important to remember that when it comes to reviews, most customers tend to look at the overall trend of reviews. So don’t stress out about the occasional bad one that comes in, respond appropriately to it and work on getting the overall review count up.